Tinley Park man pleads not guilty in attack
A former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in connection with an alleged attack on a neighbor in her Tinley Park condominium.
Gary Swiercz pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary Thursday at the Bridgeview courthouse, according to a Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman.
His next court date is March 26, the spokeswoman said Friday.
Swiercz allegedly broke into the condo unit of a 28-year-old woman on Jan. 5. On a recording of the 911 call, the woman tells a dispatcher that the intruder threatened to cut her throat, smelled of liquor and tried to rape her.
The woman didn’t recognize Swiercz because he wore a ski mask during the attack, and she went to his condominium for help afterward only to find he wasn’t there, Cook County prosecutors have said.
Swiercz, a former Worth fire chief, retired as Chicago Ridge’s deputy fire chief after the incident.
Swiercz is subject to electronic monitoring and is staying in Worth, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Swiercz broke into the woman’s condo carrying a knife, rope, zip ties, duct tape, an 8-inch sex toy and lubricant.
In a subsequent interview, Swiercz admitted breaking into the woman’s condo and attacking her but denied threatening to kill her, police said.
The woman was treated for minor injuries. She and Swiercz had no prior relationship, prosecutors said.